U.S. PEDv cases jump; one more in SW Ont.

Reuters — Confirmed cases of a deadly pig virus spreading across the U.S. farm belt increased by 265 last week — the biggest weekly increase since it was discovered in the United States in April 2013, according to USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), which causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration in hogs, is transmitted orally and through pig feces. While older pigs have a chance of survival, the virus kills 80 to 100 per cent of piglets that contract it.

The total number of confirmed PEDv cases has increased to 2,962 in 23 states as of the week ended Feb. 1. More than 35 per cent of the cases, 1,095, were confirmed in Iowa, the top U.S. pork producing state.

As defined by the USDA, each diagnostic case could represent multiple animals at either a single farm site or several locations. The USDA’s NAHLN released its latest PEDv data on Wednesday.

The virus crossed the border into Canada on Jan. 23, when a case was confirmed on a farrow-to-finish operation in southwestern Ontario’s Middlesex County.

As of Thursday, southwestern Ontario has reported nine confirmed cases — the most recent of which, confirmed Thursday, is on a farrow-to-finish operation in Perth County. [Related story]

PEDv does not affect humans, and federal officials have said pork from pigs that have survived the virus is safe to eat.

— Reporting for Reuters by Meredith Davis. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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